Noted broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough has been presented the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
Attenborough was given the prize for “revealing the wonders of the natural world, educating and entertaining generations of people through his films and books for tirelessly working to awaken humankind to the need to preserve and protect the biodiversity on our planet, and advocating the necessity to live a sustainable and harmonious way of life, working with rather than against nature,” the citation read.
Speaking on the occasion on Monday, former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh underlined the importance of climate and environment in the backdrop of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“It doesn’t need an epidemic to tell us that we are not in good shape. Climate change, the assault on the oceans, the pollution of the atmosphere, the junk floating about in space, the reduction of forest cover, the extinction of life in rivers, the reduction of natural habitat for any life other than humans – all this is evident to anyone,” the former Prime Minister said.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, referring to late former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi after whom the prize has been named, said: “India needed to accelerate the pace of investment, and expand its economic infrastructure. But at the same time, she (Indira Gandhi) was very sensitive to the imperative of maintaining what she would often call ecological balance.”
Ms Gandhi also praised the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize’s winner, naming him responsible for enlightening people through his expertise in natural history.
“Sir David through his prodigious creativity in educating humankind with brilliant films and books about the natural world. And he has, of late, been the most sensible voice warning us that we, more than anything else, are responsible for the accelerating threat to the environment on our planet,” she added.